Thames Valley Park* …

In my quest trying to find something for an earlier post, I found this image which was too good not to share.



In the Credits was a link to Janina Köppel's Excellent SP-Studio site. It's done in flash, which proves that although flash is often put to bad uses, that's not always the case. 

We had a lot of fun at home doing members of the family, characters from Robin Hood, and finally other our the team - and that includes George while we're on the Road (her picture is rather too flattering after the one she posted of me).  

andrew eileen George

james steve viral

Last year I was trying to draw some cartoons for this blog ... Now at the weekend I was looking through a book of Banksy's work, in which he poses the question "Many artists are prepared to suffer, but why are so few prepared to learn to draw ?" This might see the cartoons making a comeback


*Thames Valley Park is the address of Microsoft in the UK



Comments (15)
  1. Eileen_Brown says:

    Blue eyeshadow? Blue? Blue???

    Green (or Red) puhleease – to go with my eyes 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    As James points out, after posting a less than flattering picture of him with the team when we were so

  3. viralta says:

    best post of all time throughout the known and unknown multiverse.

  4. James ONeill says:

    Apple and more particularly the "We’re *SO* superior" attitude of their ads and fan-children gets up the noses of the broader IT community.

    Someone here is oversensitive. I can’t tell if it’s me for reacting to apple, or you for reacting to me.

    when I said that gender specific UI worked on various levels, I wondered if it was controls for a Man to use/woman to use OR if it was controls to operate a man/woman ? Or was it a play on how the sexes see each other ? Or a joke about how interface designers are guided by stereotypes ?

    I like ambiguous pictures where the viewer’s interpretation is a key part of the picture.

    Of course there are some people who want to find something objectionable in everything…

  5. James ONeill says:

    Sure there’s ample scope to argue, but what we’ve found with Pocket PC touch screen devices is <most> people just get on better with buttons.

    Where I have read people who have bought the iPhone and regretted it has been because they make heavy use of messaging.

    Here’s one which made me laugh about touch screens…

    Given what you and I know of each other if one thing in 15 that I say antagonizes you that would be about par for the course. I noticed this post wasn’t tagged “Apple” – but now it is, I’ve made 7 posts tagged Apple out of 230 this year. Since they’re the only ones that annoy you I’m doing better than 1 in 15 😉  

    If the roles are reversed… I’ll give you some slack to be a jerk. If you’re really going too far I’ll ring you or use private e-mail. I find these threads tiresome.  I’m fed up with people who read Microsoft blogs *wanting* to be antagonized.

  6. James ONeill says:

    Russ, (and I assume you’re the same Russ as before), I don’t think you can talk about iPhone fud when you were the one who started the thing on "Smartphones are so full of toxic chemicals it’s making me feel ill."  

    Glad you find something which you can say makes it worth time reading what I write. I wish I could say the same in return.

  7. James ONeill says:

    @Russ. I did wonder if "Rusty mac" was a joke or not. I don’t find engaging with readers boring or exciting of itself. It depends what they want to get engaged about. Threads like this don’t seem like a great use of your time or mine.  

    @Melissa. There is a lot of truth in what you say. But the I don’t think people you label as Prius haters don’t object to the Prius per-se (in the way that some people hate diesel powered cars). They might get annoyed by the smug "We’ve single handedly saving the environment" tendency of **some** Prius owners. It doesn’t matter if comments like that are supposed to needle people or not… that’s the effect. Was that the intent of Apple’s ad agency ? Given the amount of testing that is done with focus groups before ads go live I can’t believe it was an accident. And if Toyota ran an "I’m a Prius / I’m a normal car" advert there’d be quite a lot of annoyed drivers out there (I have a colleague with a Prius and he gets fewer Miles per Gallon than I get with my Diesel – I might well be resentful).

    Once you get to that situation you’ve then got a strand of majority opinion with a dislike of what they see as the product’s values. (Whether those are it’s real values or not).

    You then get the product fan-children defending the product against real or imagined attack, and normal drivers of the car thinking "It’s just a car. Get over it."

    I no more pissed off that you like your iPhone than I am that Steve likes his Prius. I am pissed off that when someone says "I can’t put the memory card from my camera into it", or "I have to throw it away when the battery reaches the end of its life", or "a pure touch screen isn’t great for sending messages" etc they get howled down as the messiah is in front of them and they are just too stupid to see it.

    At the end of the day the iPhone is just a phone. A very nicely designed phone, with some compensating weaknesses.

    I’m fed up with the hype about it, that’s all.

    If you read my blog postings as "defensive, derogatory, deceitful or delusional", then please, find something better to do with your time.

  8. James ONeill says:

    My motivations are probably shallower than you imagine. I just write what seems interesting to me at the time.

    I posted a cartoon because it made made laugh and it served to introduce SP-Studio. I average an Apple related post about every couple of months, and this isn’t the first time it’s got this kind of result.

    Incidentally, evangelizing isn’t the same as trying convert those of opposite belief.

  9. Melissa says:

    This isn’t so much a comment on this post as on several of your recent posts.

    Macs and iPhones have comparably tiny marketshare, yet you spend lots of energy on them.  Just why are you so obsessed with them, and why is your obsession all about scoring points at some petty level?

    Keep sniping if you like (after all *some* people seem to like these posts), but you’re certainly turning me off.  If you drive away everyone who isn’t a dyed-in-the-wool windows advocate, will that really be an achievement to be proud of…?

    (FWIW, I’d also say that the appeal to stereotypes made in that "women are complicated / men are simple" graphic you linked to also suffers from a similar "enjoyed by the crowd but alienates some" quality.)

  10. Russ T Mac says:

    I’m from the ‘broader IT community’ and, call me the oversensitive type too if you like, but I have to say I’m agreeing with Melissa on this.  

    Surely you must see that by your frequent attacks on the likes of Apple, you are adopting the self same ‘we are so superior’ attitude?!

    You’ve already given us iPhone ‘FUD’ and now the slightly more subtle ‘iPhones aren’t selling well’ dig the much more forthright ‘my mate basically says iPhones are a joke / cr*p’ posts…  Perhaps you are still responding to the old ‘get a mac’ ads that implied that a PC is a bit dull?  The iPhone ads don’t even mention the all powerful smartphone and, as someone else commented, the two products really seem to be aimed at different users!  Apple are doing something right to get so much passion/poison and free publicity from you before you’ve even used one!  It certainly gives me the impression that your blog is more about scoring points and anti-‘the competition’ than pro-Microsoft and that doesn’t make great reading…  Don’t get me wrong, there is a balance but keep it constructive.

    I didn’t find that fairly simple male/female ‘button’ graphic particularly clever, funny or amusing at the time on any of the multiple levels BUT I have to say that having to explain/analyse it for us, the readers, is pure comedy genius in itself and worth reading the blog for alone!  

  11. Russ says:

    James, I DO think I can talk about iPhone ‘FUD’ since I’m the self same Russ you yourself owned up to FUD over your statements about using the iPhone one-handed in previous post.  In response to my pointing out the obvious ‘fud’, your comment was that I had a ‘fair point, well made’ if I remember rightly.  Well, I’m glad I was able to engage and make an interesting point back then but I’m obviously letting myself down lately.  I’ve already explained (twice) that the smartphone comment ‘feeling ill’ was just a simple lighthearted topical joke in response to your recent environmental post, call for Apple fan-boy rants and comments about ‘believing what you read on the register’.  I even added the ‘T Mac’ part to this post as bit of a nod to you as play on your mac coolant story; again, I’m sorry that it’s all lost on you and you’ve apparently taken it personally; that is not how it was intended and I apologise again.  I’m sad too that you’re obviously finding engaging with your readers so boring.

  12. Melissa says:

    In the US, Toyota sells a hybrid car, the Prius which is reliable, and #1 in owner satisfaction.  In many ways it’s just a family car, but people who own Priuses love them, and they love the milage they get from them.  And by most objective measures, it really is a very good car.

    Some people hate Prius owners with a passion.  They see them as show offs — when they see someone in a Prius, they think they’re saying "Look at me, in my Prius, singlehandedly saving the environment!".  Somehow in their perception, the joy and enthusiasm of Prius owners becomes something else, something nasty targeted at them,  "Think you’re better than me, huh…" they resentfully grumble.  If they saw someone broken down at the side of the road with a Prius, they’d say "Ha! Serves you right, yer smug git!".

    To the Prius hater, obvious truths like the idea that not everyone needs/wants/can use a Prius (e.g., if you have four children) become ammunition in their strangely one-sided fight to prove that the Prius isn’t any good. Prius haters might enjoy sharing anecdotes about "How useless the Prius is!", and might see themselves as winning their fight because few people bother to try to refute the things they say, but in reality, most people on the sidelines are going to see these kinds of comments for what they are — they say much more about the person trying to throw mud than the thing they’re throwing mud at.  

    I think the same thing is happens with Macs and iPhones.  Generally, people who own them love them.  Some people love them so much they rave about them (sometimes to the point of being as annoying as a newly born again Christian).  Like the Prius, by some useful objective measures, their owner’s warm regard seems justified, for example, the iPhone is #1 in user satisfaction and the highest rated smart phone by Consumer Reports (the US equivalent of Which Magazine and fiercely independent), and despite your anecdotal claims, apparently selling well in Europe (  Similarly, by many objective measures, the Mac is doing well.  

    If you get pissed off because people like their Macs and iPhones, you can rationalize your feelings by believing that they’re smug and superior and trying to needle you, but that doesn’t mean that your rationalization is actually correct.

    Even if your rationalization actually were correct, writing blog postings that get read as defensive, derogatory, deceitful or delusional probably isn’t going to paint you in a good light.  I’d argue that if someone is a jerk, it’s best not to respond by being a jerk too, but rather to rise above it.  That way, if it later turns out they weren’t being a jerk at all, you won’t have so much egg on your face.

    P.S.  I don’t own a Prius, in fact our car is 15 years old.  I don’t hate people who do drive Priuses though.

  13. adam says:

    I think someone has a complex about working at the  “embarassing Dad” of the IT world!

  14. Melissa says:

    I think one of the major problems with these kinds of back and forth is that when one person says "a pure touch screen is no good for text messaging" or "a Prius is no good for transporting four people", there is ample potential for people to argue. You really shouldn’t be surprised when and owner pipes up to say "WHAT!!?!".

    Also, if one in fifteen of your posts seems needlessly antagonistic, what would you have me do

      – Leave,

      – Stay and say nothing,

      – Or tell you..?

    If the roles were reversed, I’d want to know.

    (Sent from my iPhone 🙂

  15. Melissa says:

    I generally don’t believe that there are many people that actually *want* to be antagonized.  There are people who are thin skinned, but that isn’t really the same thing.

    I’m really trying to be helpful here.  My theory is that if you’re an evangelist, you shouldn’t just be preaching to the choir, but to the nonbelievers too, and that means you should be aware of what they’ll be receptive to and what they won’t.

    If you really *are* trying to be a jerk, let me know (and offline methods are fine for that) and I guess I can try to give you some slack.  Although, I suspect I’d still end up annoying you by trying to probe your motivations.

    Finally, I’m sorry that you find the thread tiresome — I actually find it quite interesting, which makes me think that we’re coming at this stuff from quite different places. BTW, if you want a tiresome thread to die, just remember that you don’t *have* to give a substantive reply to every comment.  That said, I really do appreciate your replies.

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